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Rupert Wyman 10th Jul 2010 - 21:21

Villa España

Spain and Holland will play each other on Sunday in what will be a titanic battle between two sides desperate to win the World Cup.

Neither side has ever won the coveted prize before and the winner will join an exclusive club with the 'magnificent' seven winners - Uruguay, Italy, Germany, Brazil, England, Argentina and France.

Both teams are in a fantastic run of form, Spain have lost twice in their last twenty-five games and Holland are twenty- five games unbeaten.

Both teams are perennial under-achievers and a victory for either team will end many years of hurt.

For two teams both with sensational players over the years, they have only played each other nine times in the past.

Each side has won four times. Holland are 13/5 to win in ninety minutes, the draw is 11/5 and the Spain win is 11/10.

The match will be won in the midfield. The Spanish manager Del Bosque was brave before the victory against Germany by dropping Spain's prodigal son, Torres. He was replaced in the starting eleven by Pedro who worked tirelessly throughout the match.

The Liverpool man is clearly out of sorts and he may not be wholly focussed on his football at the moment. By dropping Torres is allowed Villa to go back into his favoured role as a striker, rather than have him play on the wing. He is the joint leading World Cup scorer with five goals and is even money to score anytime.

The game will be won in the centre of the pitch, Spain play with Xavi and Iniesta playing above the defensively minded Busquets and Alonso. These players are the reason Spain have returned to form after their beating by Switzerland.

Wesley Sneijder is priced at 13/2 to score from outside the box and the Spanish midfielders will have to be at their best to contain him. Busquets is 3/1 to be carded and he may well have the task of trying to keep Sneijder quiet.

If you fancy Puyol to score with a header, you can get 16/1 for him to score one in normal time.  He was sensational against Germany and he is one of the factors why Spain have only conceded two goals so far this tournament.

Spain are 8/5 to win to nil, but the way the Dutch attacked Uruguay and after their comeback against Brazil, I would not put it past both teams to score in normal time at 6/5.

The half time draw is 3/4, which is too short for me but I do not think it will be a goal fest. Both teams may be quite cautious because neither team will want to concede a goal early and be on the back foot for the rest of the match.

In the double result market, the half time draw and full time Spain win is 18/5. Spain have a superb bench and with Fabregas and Torres warming it, they have the potential to make and score a few goals in the second half.

It should be an entertaining game and nobody will begrudge either nation winning their maiden World Cup.




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